BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday asserted that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is very essential for the country and that a grand temple should be built in Ayodhya according to the design proposed by Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas.
Shah on Sunday launched “Bharat ke mann ki baat, Modi ke saath”, a month-long exercise to seek suggestions from 10 crore people to help the party prepare its ‘sankalp patra’ (manifesto) for the upcoming election. Senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who heads the committee formed for drafting the manifesto, was also present.
Replying to a question on ongoing protests in Assam against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Shah said, “Few decisions are liked by some people but not by others. BJP has brought this Citizenship Amendment Bill after thorough deliberation. You cannot keep such a large population of immigrants hanging in balance. During the Parliament session, the Home Minister is speaking to political parties of Northeast and other parties who want to give suggestions. Discussion has already been held with some parties. If any consensus is formed after taking suggestions from all, we will certainly move ahead,” Shah said, adding, “But the Citizen Amendment Bill is very essential for this country.”
On Ram Janmabhoomi issue, Shah said, “I want to ask all the opposition parties to not create hurdles in the case. We are firmly standing with this commitment…I want to ask all the political parties to clear their stand on the Ram Janmabhoomi issue….our (BJP) stand is clear, a grand Ram temple as per the design proposed by Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas should be built at that place at the earliest.”
With Congress president Rahul Gandhi slamming the budget by saying that giving “Rs 17 a day” to farmers was an insult, the BJP chief accused the opposition of creating a misconception. Shah said the Congress-led government in 2009 waived off loans worth Rs 57,000 crore and that benefited around 3.4 crore farmers only once.
“This scheme (PM-KISAN) involves a higher amount of around Rs 75000 crore and will benefit around 15 crore farmers. And this is a scheme that will continue every year,” Shah said. On a question on recent reports on the unemployment rate, Shah said the entire country could not be given employment if description of employment is restricted to “government job”. Shah said the government has made a successful attempt to create new avenues of employment. “If a girl opens a beauty parlour, then I believe that is an employment, if a boy sets up a shop to fix punctures, then that is employment for him and the government has supported him for that.”
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said a lot of work has been done for the youth in the past five years. “But I believe that this is not sufficient…we are not satisfied…our government and Prime Minister wants to do more. Youths are being motivated for self-employment,”
Earlier, Shah claimed that before 2014, the country was gripped by anxiety and the BJP-led government laid the foundation of a strong India. “Previous governments were busy ensuring their survival for five years and damaged the country by making populist announcements aimed at winning elections,” Shah alleged.
Shah said “Bharat ke mann ki baat, Modi ke saath” exercise is aimed at “democratising” the process of preparing manifesto and will involve the public in deciding the framework of the “New India” they want.
Sharing details of the campaign, Home Minister Singh said party workers will travel across the country in 300 “sankalp raths” and people’s views will be sought by placing 7,700 boxes in 4,000 Assembly constituencies. The party, he said, will reach out to 10 crore people in seven ways, including telephone and the social media, to seek suggestions on topics divided into 12 categories.
Farmers and agriculture, youth and sports, women empowerment, inclusive development, economy, health, education, national security, foreign policy are among the topics on which the party will seek suggestions from the people. The party has appointed one leader as convener for each category. Among the leaders are Arun Jaitley for economy-related issues, Shivraj Singh Chouhan for agriculture, Prakash Javadekar for education and skill, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe for foreign policy and Smriti Irani for women empowerment.
The tagline of the campaign is “Kaam kare jo, ummeed usi se so”. Three videos about the achievements of the government were also released Sunday.